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    May 29, 1889

    “Dr. Crafts at Pittsburg” American Sentinel 4, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The event of the evening of the second day of the National Reform Convention at Pittsburg was the speech by Dr. Crafts, entitled, “Liberty and the Sabbath.” With the exception of the speech by Dr. McAllister on the “School Theory of Education,” this was the only one of the speeches, so far as we have received them, containing anything worthy of notice. That which makes this speech noteworthy is not its logic, because it has none, but the perverted ideas of liberty to which the speaker gave expression. In the beginning of his speech, he referred to the Sunday-law petition, copies of which had been placed in the seats, and which he read. It has been changed somewhat, so we will quote it as it now reads:—AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.1

    To the United States Senate.—The undersigned organizations and adult residents of the United States, twenty-one years of age or more, earnestly petition you to pass a bill forbidding in the Government’s mails, military service, and inter-state commerce, and in the District of Columbia, and Territories, all Sunday traffic and work, excepting works of necessity and mercy, and such private work by those who religiously and regularly observe another day of the week, by abstaining from labor and business, as will neither interfere with the general rest nor with public worship.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.2

    Concerning this, Mr. Crafts said: “It may be best to define it as a supplement to the State Sabbath law, by doing through Congress what the States cannot do,—giving protection to thousands beyond the jurisdiction of the State laws.” From this it seems that Mr. Crafts’s idea of liberty and protection is that they shall be guaranteed only to those who think as he does; and that everybody else must be deprived of liberty and protection. Mr. Crafts knows as well as we do that public worship is already protected, and that no Sunday law could afford any better protection to it than it has now. His continually harping on that string shows that he is working for a law from some other motive than that of reason and regard for religion.AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.3

    While we are talking about protection to religious worship, it may not be amiss to inquire why those who religiously and regularly observe another day, are not entitled to as much protection as those who observe the first day. If Mr. Crafts says it is because those who observe another day are in the wrong, then he contradicts his statement that the Sunday law is not a religious law. To say that Saturday is not the correct day for Christians to observe, and to say that Sunday is the proper day, and ought, therefore, to be enforced by the State, is to say that the State should decide for people on questions of religious duty, or, in other words, that the State should act as Pope.AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.4

    But the answer which, Mr. Crafts does give is that those who observe another day are so few that they are not worth noticing. In his speech he spoke of the opposition to his movement as composed of “two little Christian sects, professedly Christian,—the Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists, who, with the Jews, make about one per cent. of the population.” Of course he knows that his wished-for law will work great disadvantage to these people, but he philosophically answers that it is better for a few to suffer in order that many may be benefited. This is what the false-hearted high priest Caiaphas said when the council were considering whether or not Jesus should be tolerated. He said that it was expedient that one man should die in order that the whole nation should not perish. So, in order to save the nation, they put the one man to death; nevertheless, the whole nation miserably perished, and for the very reason that they rejected Jesus in order to gave themselves.AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.5

    Now we will say this, that any law which works injustice to a single individual in a nation, is an unjust law; and the man that talks about securing liberty for the multitude by means of a law which shall deprive a few equally deserving persons of their liberty, shows that he does not understand the first principles of liberty and justice, but is at heart a tyrant. True liberty knows no favoritism. It may seem to some of the Sunday-law workers that liberty for the people can be obtained only by a law which will deprive some people of their liberty; but they will find in the end, that they are grievously mistaken, as did the Jewish people who crucified Christ in order that they might retain their nationality. Their ideas of liberty, and of gaining it, are just such ideas as were held by Napoleon, who, in order to gain his ends, which no doubt he forced himself to believe were for the good of the people, heartlessly sacrificed thousands of men. When people find that in their supposed march to liberty they are obliged to trample upon the rights of a single individual, they should halt, and take that as a sure indication that they are on the wrong road.AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.6

    Referring to the observers of the seventh day as in the front rank of opposers to the Sunday-law movement, he said that they constituted but one per cent. of the population, and added, “And yet they would have the other ninety-nine per cent. yield their convictions in this matter.” To this we have to say, first, that the observers of the seventh day do not ask anybody to yield their convictions, unless their convictions are that everyone who does not observe Sunday should be deprived of their civil rights. Sunday-law advocates profess to think that the opposers of their movement want to deprive them of their rest-day. Nothing could be more untrue. The opposers of the Sunday law are perfectly willing that everybody who wishes to keep Sunday should be allowed the fullest liberty to do so, and be protected in his worship on that day to the fullest extent. We challenge Mr. Crafts, or any of his co-workers, to quote a single line from any opposer of the Sunday law, whether he be Christian, Jew, or infidel, which could possibly be construed as indicating any desire whatever to deprive any individual of the fullest liberty to rest and to worship on Sunday. The intolerance is all on the other side. It is the Sunday-law advocates who have such overweaning ambition to rule, that they cannot enjoy their Sunday rest so long as any person who differs with them is granted freedom of action. The opposers of the Sunday-law movement simply ask equal and exact justice for all.AMS May 29, 1889, page 137.7

    Again, by his statement that the seventh-day people, who, as he says, form one per cent. of the population, would have the other ninety-nine per cent. yield their convictions in this matter, he conveys the idea that ninety-nine per cent. of the population of the United States have decided convictions in favor of Sunday. Now if that were true, they would not be asking for a Sunday law. If ninety-nine per cent. of the population of the United States were conscientious observers of the Sunday, the day would be observed so strictly that the labor that would be done by the one per cent. would not make a ripple on the surface of society. But let us look at figures for a moment. The population of the United States is about sixty-five million, but the number of church-members in the United States, both Protestant and Catholic, is not more than thirteen million. That is, only twenty per cent. of the people of the United States are even nominally Christian. This is a good deal less than ninety-nine per cent., but not all of these church-members are desirous of a Sunday law. We have in our possession the statements of prominent religious workers to the effect that the larger part of the present disregard for Sunday is due to members of churches. It is repeatedly stated that if it were not for the patronage of church-members the Sunday newspaper could not exist. Certainly, then, the conviction that Sunday should be observed strictly cannot be overwhelmingly strong, even among the small minority of the people who are nominally Christian. Then there are many thousands of people who conscientiously observe the first day of the week, who are as strongly opposed to a Sunday law as any seventh-day person can possibly be. Mr. Crafts himself only claims ten million petitioners presented to Congress shows that only a few hundred people actually signed the petition; and it is making a very liberal estimate to say that the entire number of people in the United States, who are zealous for a Sunday law, is less than a million. So then we may say that one per cent. of the population desire a Sunday law, and are determined to have it in spite of the opposition, and the passive indifference, of the other ninety-nine per cent.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.1

    Mr. Crafts says: “It is a very shallow objection, the attempt to charge that this is at the bottom of a Catholic conspiracy to put Catholicism in this country.” We do not know of anybody who makes this charge. We know very well that the Roman Catholics are not at the bottom of this movement. We should not think any the worse of it if they were. We know that there are many Catholics who are opposed to it. All the wickedness in the world does not result from what is called Catholicism, neither is all the goodness bound up in Protestantism. Those who are engineering this Sunday movement call themselves Protestants, but they have not the faintest conception of what Protestantism is. Protestantism derives its name from the protest of the German Princes at the Diet of Spires against religious interference with the Government and the rights of the people. A man is not necessarily a Protestant because he calls himself one. When these professed Protestants labor for the very thing against which the German Princes protested, they show that they are not Protestants, but Papists, at heart.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.2

    Mr. Crafts devoted a little time to the consideration of the objection that the Sunday law would be unconstitutional. His answer is as follows: “In cases where it has been carried up to the Supreme Court of the State the decisions have been without reserve that such laws are perfectly constitutional. It seems strange that this cry should still be raised, and the curious thing about it is that in the papers that publish these objections there is not the slightest intimation of the decisions of the courts in this matter.” A fitting answer to this is the following incident related of that eminent lawyer, Henry W. Paine, of Maine. One day Mr. Paine was riding in a horse-car, reading a sheep-skin-bound volume of law reports. An acquaintance hailed him, and said, “See here, Paine, do you have to study law still?” “This is not law,” said Paine. “It is only a collection of decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.” So it may be said of the Supreme Court decisions that Sunday laws are constitutional. They are not law. They are not justice. They cannot make wrong right. Just as Chief Justice Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case did not make slavery any more constitutional than it was before.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.3

    Mr. Crafts claims that the clause of the first amendment of the Constitution, which says that Congress shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion, is infringed in this country. He says: “Certainly it is an infringement of the free exercise of religion, when the public service is so managed that hundreds and thousands of employes in the service of the Government cannot have their rightful privilege accorded them. No deeply conscientious Christian man can take an office in the whole Post-office Department. No man who has a strict conscience can either be a postmaster or a post-office clerk, and I say it is an infringement on the free exercise of religion.” What about the man who has conscience in the observance of the seventh day? He cannot occupy any position in the Post-office Department, because the post-office is regularly open continually on Saturday, when his conscientious convictions compel him to refrain from all labor. Mr. Crafts does not expect that this condition of things will ever be changed. On the contrary, he intends to make it even more uncomfortable for them than it is at present. Therefore, according to Mr. Crafts’s own statement, he and his followers intend to perpetuate that infringement of the Constitution. We have never heard a Sunday-law advocate admit more plainly that the passage of a strict Sunday law would prohibit the free exercise of religion.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.4

    But as a matter of fact, the keeping open of post-offices on Sunday does not interfere in the slightest degree with the free exercise of a man’s religion. Any man who has conscience in regard to Sunday will keep it. There is no law compelling him to accept a position under the Government. There are thousands of people who keep Sunday strictly, just as there are other thousands who keep Saturday strictly, who have never dreamed that they were being interfered with,—that their religious freedom was infringed by the mere fact that somebody else worked while they were resting.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.5

    One more point in Mr. Crafts’s speech we will notice, and then leave him for the present. He said: “We will now notice the work of the seventh-day Christian people who are doing so much in this country to disturb the objects which we seek. I have been criticised for calling this people Saturdarians. They say that I have viewed that work a little uncharitably; but we claim that they make a fetich of Saturday.” If “Saturdarians” is a proper term to apply to those who observe the seventh day, then “Sundarians” must be a proper term to apply to those who observe the first day of the week. Mr. Crafts would undoubtedly think us uncharitable if we should apply it to him.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.6

    Mr. Crafts says that the seventh-day people make a fetich of Saturday. Let us look into this matter. A fetich, according to Webster, is “a material thing, living or dead, which is made the object of brutish and superstitious worship, as among certain. African tribes.” Now Mr. Crafts charges seventh-day people of making a fetich of Saturday, because they observe it strictly. Suppose we look at the other side. Mr. Crafts and his fellow-workers make a great parade of their conscientious regard for Sunday. Now if the simple fact that seventh-day people observe Saturday strictly is evidence that they make a fetich of it, then it must be that Mr. Crafts makes a fetich of Sunday. Indeed, he is a hundred fold more open to the charge of fetichism than seventh-day people are, for whereas seventh-day people are strict observers of Saturday for themselves only, Mr. Crafts not only observes Sunday strictly, but de-sires to compel everybody else to do so. This is one of the characteristics of fetichism; for it is well known that nothing will more quickly exasperate the ignorant devotee than to have people lightly regard his fetich. He not only holds it in superstitious reverence, but he thinks that everybody else ought to do the same; and the less worthy the object of his worship is of adoration, the more intense is his desire to have other people give homage to it, and the more intensely is he excited when it is disregarded.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.7

    Still further may we turn Mr. Crafts’s charge upon himself. A fetich, as before quoted, is the object of superstitious worship. “Superstition,” as defined by Webster, is “extreme and unnecessary scruples in the observance of religious rites not commanded.” Now there is nowhere in the Bible a command for the observance of Sunday. We defy any individual to produce even a semblance of such a command. Mr. Crafts manifests extreme scruples in the observance of Sunday, and it is certain that he manifests unnecessary scruples, in that he wishes to compel others to do so against their will. Therefore his regard for it is superstition; and since a fetich is the object of superstitious worship, we have proved conclusively that Mr. Crafts makes a fetich of Sunday. The columns of the SENTINEL are open to him to clear himself from this charge if he can.AMS May 29, 1889, page 138.8

    E. J. W.

    “Sunday Laws Antichristian” American Sentinel 4, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The Pearl of Days (New York Mail and Express) of February 8 contained an article entitled, “The Sabbath and the Individual,” by Rev. George S. Mott, D. D., the vice-president of the American Sabbath Union for New Jersey, from which we quote the following reasons why Sunday laws and their penalties must be made universal:—AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.1

    “The person who keeps the law must not be put out and disadvantaged thereby, and this would be the case were there no penalties for breaking Sabbath laws. The merchant who closes his store might find that his neighbor who keeps open on Sunday was drawing away a trade which belongs to him. Now we must not permit the Sunday-keeping merchant to be the loser because ale regards the law, and so must it be with all kinds of labor. Let public sentiment in favor of Sunday law die away, and try to popularize in this country the Sunday of France, and the American will not be protected in his day of rest. Thus he would be compelled to work on that day or lose his situation. No public conscience or statutes will be on his side.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.2

    This is one of the most common arguments for, a Sunday law, and is urged by doctors of divinity who claim to be working in the interests of the gospel and pure morality; but to our mind it is one of the strongest evidences of the antichristian character of all Sunday legislation. A Christian is a follower of Christ, that is, a follower of his example and teaching. Now let us quote a few words from his lips, that we may have his statements concerning what must be done by those who follow him:—AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.3

    Matthew 5:10-12: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for any sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.4

    Luke 6:22, 26: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the son of man’s sake.” “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.5

    Matthew 7:13, 14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.6

    Matthew 16:24, 25: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.7

    Luke 14:27: “And whosoever cloth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.8

    John 15:18-20: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.9

    John 16:33: “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”AMS May 29, 1889, page 139.10

    The American Sabbath Union proposes to change this order of things that Christ prophesied should exist. He said that as it was before his first advent, so it should be till the end of time: the righteous should be evil spoken of by the world, and would have greater difficulty in making a living. He expressly told his followers that they would be cast out even as he had been; that they could not plan for ease in this life, and at the same time secure the life to come. He taught them that, when there was a question of right and wrong, they should not parley, nor take anxious thought as to what they should eat or drink or wherewithal they should be clothed, if they should pursue a right course, but that they should first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and trust him for their necessary support. He expressly stated that if a man did not take up his cross and deny himself, he could not be his disciple.AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.1

    Now, suppose the American Sabbath Union succeeds in getting laws upholding the Christian religion, and making it easy for a man to profess Christianity, making it impossible for him to suffer any loss thereby, what would be the result? It would simply show that the Christianity that was thus professed was not Christianity at all, but a false profession thereof. By their claiming that they are going to have the religion of Christ respected, and to secure those who profess it from being put to disadvantage, they are doing their best to prove that Christ was a false prophet. But this cannot be done. Christ spoke truth. He did not say that the majority of men would reject truth because he wanted them to do so, but because he knew just what they would do. National Reformers may say as much as they please that, although their laws will make it easy for men to profess Christianity and to comply with the outward forms of it, they will not hinder them from being real Christians at heart, and true followers of Christ; but before they can make their claim good, they will have to prove that the Bible is untrue.AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.2

    Jesus said: “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat;” and that the way to life is narrow, and that few will find it. But the American Sabbath Union proposes to make the way to life so broad that nobody can help finding it; and then if anybody has a desire to follow the Saviour, and to walk in the narrow path, it will pursue him with a goad and compel him to walk in the broad way. But “the Scripture cannot be broken.” The broad way will be till the end of time the way to destruction. And so, when the National Reformers shall have succeeded in getting their system of Christianity so protected by civil law that nobody can suffer any inconvenience in obeying its demands, they will simply have succeeded in changing the truth of God into a lie, and in leading people to destruction while making them believe that they are leading them to everlasting life.AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.3

    Christ never authorized anybody to offer ease and comfort as an inducement for people to follow him. He had no ease while on earth, and he said that it is enough that the servant be as his Lord. When he sent Ananias to baptize Saul of Tarsus, he said, “I will show him how great things he must suffer for my sake.” The American Sabbath Union says: “We must show men how little they will have to suffer, and how prosperous they may be in business, for the Lord’s sake.” Is it not antichrist?AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.4

    When a man came to Christ, saying, “Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest,” he replied: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” and he says, “If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” But the American Sabbath Union proposes to make Christianity very popular; therefore it proposes to lead men away from Christ and pure Christianity.AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.5

    The apostle Paul says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him;” but the American Sabbath Union proposes to make it impossible for anybody to reign with Christ, by making it impossible for anybody to suffer with him. Again he says of the children of God that they are “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.” But the American Sabbath Union says that it must not be possible for anybody to be made to suffer for Christ. Therefore we say that the American Sabbath Union is an antichristian institution, devoted to the suppression of pure Christianity, and the propagation of hypocrisy and dead formalism; and to just that extent, also, is it an enemy of mankind. Let every lover of pure Christianity and of his fellow-men work heart and soul against its iniquitous work.AMS May 29, 1889, page 140.6

    E. J. W.

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